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Home Healthcare: An Industry on the Rise

If you are considering owning your own business or franchise, then listen closely. Today, the oldest baby boomers are well into their 60’s and according to The History Channel, about one in five Americans will be older than 65 by 2030. Today there are about 78 million American baby boomers and as the oldest of them hits retirement age many will have additional medical needs. People age 65 and older make up 12 percent of the population but they account for 38 percent of all Emergency Medical Service (EMS) trips and 90 percent of nursing home use.  Here’s another staggering statistic; 60 percent of baby boomers have been diagnosed with at least one chronic medical condition.

Now factor in that The Huffington Post reported that, in 2010 the number of Americans age 65 and older was 40.2 million and that number will more than double by 2050. With the typical life-span increasing significantly over the past 30 year’s long-term healthcare has turned into a vital topic.

Healthcare franchising on the rise

According to Forbes 2014 best franchises list, three of the top ten rising franchises are home healthcare brands. FRANdata reported there were only 13 home healthcare brands in 2000 and that number has shot to 56 companies today. There are 45 franchise brands operating 6,000 locations, compared to 2001, when they operated in less than 300 locations.

Don’t take my word for it, instead read this story of a man whose injury ignited a new business venture. In 1991, a college senior was traveling home to visit family when he was involved in an awful wreck leaving him with a shattered femur and third degree burns. Fifteen surgeries later and countless months of home healthcare assistants the young man pursued a master’s in healthcare administration. As he was finishing his degree, an encounter with the same nurse that helped him with his previous injury led to a management job at her home healthcare business. Five years later he moved back to his hometown and decided he wanted to get out of management to run his own home healthcare franchise.  In January 2014, he expanded his territory and is now caring for 512,000 people. He saw a need and took action.

Why now?

Why is home healthcare franchising on the rise? Multiple aspects come into play; for example, lower investment. It took only $150,000 to open a home healthcare franchise compared to a fast food franchise costing $500,000. Additionally, home healthcare offers high revenue with relatively low investment and can drive a lot of volume after the first year. Not to mention the growing demand of aging baby boomers – people over 65 – is set to double by 2050. Within the next decade a lot of Americans will be entering into their elderly stage of life.

It’s no doubt that home healthcare facilities are on the rise and if you’ve found work among this industry or are considering starting your own venture, here are a couple tips to consider for improving effectiveness in your healthcare facility:

  1. Have a structured plan to grow your franchise: A roadmap and a clear outlook of your upcoming objectives will steer you away from failure.
  2. Never stop marketing your franchise: The main reason that some franchises fail is that owners stop marketing.  Don’t rely on the franchise concept or location alone to bring in business.
  3. Continually grow and learn new business skills:  Frequently learn new skills to be effective, if you’re not accounting savvy take a course so you have a firm grasp of the profit and liabilities of your company.
  4. Learn the state and federal rules governing home health: The federal manual is called the HIM-11. Each state has a Department of Health and Human Services that governs state regulations related to home health care.
  5. Acquire Liability Insurance: All that risk exposure means you need liability insurance. Ideally, you should have insurance that protects your business in general, plus professional liability insurance for your clinicians and worker’s compensation insurance.
  6. Hiring: Hiring clinicians to provide home health services requires a lot of thought and care. Develop clinical and situational interview questions, check references carefully and run thorough background checks on anyone you hire.

As healthcare providers of all kinds struggle to keep up with patient loads, many more franchise concepts will emerge. People are finding better, cheaper and more efficient ways to deliver healthcare services to patients across the country and now may be the right time for you to consider jumping into this industry on the rise.